My Lord, My God

Second Sunday of Easter: Feast of Divine Mercy

February 22, 1931

47. In the evening when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand [was] raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside from at breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale. In silence I kept my gaze fixed on the Lord; my soul was struck with awe, but also with great joy. After a while, Jesus said to me, Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world.

48. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory.

49. …My image is already in your soul. I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy. I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

Image of Divine Mercy

divinemercy_vilnius

313. Once when I was visiting the artist [Eugene Kazimirowki] who was painting the image, and saw that it was not as beautiful as Jesus is, I felt very sad about it, but I hid this deep in my heart. When we had left the artist’s house, Mother Superior [Irene] stayed in town to attend to some matters while I returned home alone. I said to the Lord, “Who will paint You as beautiful as You are?” Then I heard these words: Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this image, but in my grace.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

Message of Divine Mercy
Ask for mercy; be merciful to others; completely trust in Jesus

965. Jesus looked at me and said, Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation, that is, the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore My Mercy, they will perish for all eternity. Secretary of My Mercy, write, tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

699. My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy. …On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

Scriptures of the Day

Early Church: Acts of the Apostles 2:42–47

They devoted themselves
to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life,
to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone,
and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
All who believed were together and had all things in common;
they would sell their property and possessions
and divide them among all according to each one’s need.
Every day they devoted themselves
to meeting together in the temple area
and to breaking bread in their homes.
They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart,
praising God and enjoying favor with all the people.
And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Epistle: 1 Peter 1:3–9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you
who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith,
to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.
In this you rejoice, although now for a little while
you may have to suffer through various trials,
so that the genuineness of your faith,
more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire,
may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Although you have not seen him you love him;
even though you do not see him now yet believe in him,
you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Gospel of the Day: John 20:19–31

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

Mini Homily: Mercy Heals a Wounded Heart

Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Questions of the Day

  • What obstacle prevents you from believing in Jesus?
  • Are you present to the presence of Jesus?

502. Only love has meaning; it raises up our smallest actions into infinity.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

Walking in the bright light of faith

For centuries, Christians have walked the Stations of the Cross (Via Crucis) during Lent; year-round on Fridays; and daily at 3 p.m., the hour of Christ’s death. In recent times, we’ve received a set of stations to walk during the Easter season, to celebrate and meditate on the Resurrection of Jesus. It’s called the Via Lucis, or Way of Light.

The Via Lucis

153. A pious exercise called the Via Lucis has developed and spread to many regions in recent years. Following the model of the Via Crucis, the faithful process while meditating on the various appearances of Jesus – from his Resurrection to his Ascension – in which he showed his glory to the disciples who awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 14, 26; 16, 13-15; Lk 24, 49), strengthened their faith, brought to completion his teaching on the Kingdom and more closely defined the sacramental and hierarchical structure of the Church.

Through the Via Lucis, the faithful recall the central event of the faith – the resurrection of Christ – and their discipleship in virtue of Baptism, the paschal sacrament by which they have passed from the darkness of sin to the bright radiance of the light of grace (cf. Col 1, 13; Ef 5, 8).

Via Lucis: Stations of the Resurrection
(prayers by Father Cameron, Magnificat)

Introductory prayer

First station: Jesus rises from the dead (Matthew 28:1-7)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may this Easter be fore me a new beginning in grace, in which I keep my mind and heart fixed on the higher things of heaven.

Second station: The disciples find the empty tomb (John 20:1-9)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, make me as empty as your tomb of everything that separates me from you, and fill me with your risen presence.

Third station: Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to understand that suffering means receiving your love in the measure that you desire to give it, for my benefit and to your glory.

Fourth station:  Jesus walks with the disciples to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-27)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, as I journey through the day be close to me, so that all those I encounter may experience your presence through your Word dwelling within me.

Fifth station: Jesus reveals himself in the breaking of the bread (Luke 24:28-35)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to live by faith so that my life may be a perfect gift of self.

Sixth station:  Jesus appears to his disciples  (Luke 24:36-43)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may I live fully mindful of your Presence, and fully alive through my union with you.

Seventh station: Jesus confers on his disciples the power to forgive sins (John 20:19-23)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, keep me united to you in holiness, that I may always be generous in showing forgiveness to others.

Eighth station: Jesus confirms Thomas in faith (John 20:24-29)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, heal me by your wounds, and make me compassionate and generous in embracing the woundedness of others.

Ninth station: Jesus appears to his disciples on the shore of Lake Galilee (John 21:1-13)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may the appearance of your grace transform my worldly ways, and keep me obedient to your commandments with confidence and joy.

Tenth station: Jesus confers primacy on Peter (John 21:15-17)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to make every moment of my life an act of unceasing love for you, and to be ever obedient by loving your Church.

Eleventh station: Jesus entrusts his disciples with a universal mission (Matthew 28:16-20)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may the witness of my life proclaim your holy name so as to draw others into union with you.

Twelfth station: Jesus ascends into heaven (Acts 1:6-11)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me the eyes of faith, and make me deeply spiritual, so that I will always think and act in a godly way.

Thirteenth station: Mary and the disciples await the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:12-14)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, through the maternal mediation of your holy Mother, bring about in me the moral perfection and holiness befitting the children of God.

Fourteenth station: Jesus sends the Spirit promised by the Father to his disciples (Acts 2:1-13)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, free me from all shackles of the flesh to live by the Spirit to your everlasting glory.

Walk the Way of Light

He opened their minds to the scriptures

Easter Thursday
The resurrected Christ desires to give us His peace,
a peace that comes when we repent of our sins and receive God’s forgiveness

Gospel of the Day: Luke 24:35–48

The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”

Disciples on the Journey

Jesus handpicked his apostles. He spent three years training them during his public ministry. They watched him suffer, and scattered. Even as they witnessed his resurrection, they struggled to understand. Our journey is like theirs: we don’t get it; we have trouble believing; our hearts are troubled, lacking peace; we are full of questions; we don’t know how to pray; we want to believe, but we need proof. We are totally dependent upon Jesus opening our minds to the scriptures, and until he does, we must be patient and trust. We must seek and knock and trust that the door will be opened as promised. In the Gospel reading today, Jesus says “touch me and see.” We may not be able to physically touch the Risen Jesus, but we can be touched by him when he fills us with his Spirit. And we can dine with him when we receive him in the Eucharist. Laudetur Jesus Christus

Question of the Day

Are you amazed and incredulous for joy by the reality that Christ is Risen?

Prayer for the Evening
From the Te Deum

Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

The path of life made known

Easter Monday

Abide in confidence

Scriptures of the Day

New Testament Proclamation: Acts of the Apostles 2:14, 22–33

On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.
Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.

“You who are children of Israel, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.
But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for him to be held by it.
For David says of him:

I saw the Lord ever before me,
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;
my flesh, too, will dwell in hope,
because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.

My brothers, one can confidently say to you
about the patriarch David that he died and was buried,
and his tomb is in our midst to this day.
But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him
that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,
he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,
that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld
nor did his flesh see corruption.
God raised this Jesus;
of this we are all witnesses.
Exalted at the right hand of God,
he poured forth the promise of the Holy Spirit
that he received from the Father, as you both see and hear.”

Psalm 16:1–2A, 5, 7–8, 9–10, 11

Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.

I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.

You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.

Gospel: Matthew 28:8–15

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city
and told the chief priests all that had happened.
The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;
then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, “You are to say,
‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’
And if this gets to the ears of the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.

Ever New

In his homily at Mass today Father stressed the need “to realize there is something more.”

How appropriate to dwell on this truth the day after Easter. No matter how many times we have read or heard a story or passage of scripture, there is always something more to discover. It is a mistake to think, oh, I know that story, and move on to something else.

However close Jesus has drawn us toward him, we can always be drawn closer. Whatever love flows through (to or from) your heart, move love is possible. Whatever suffering you are being asked to endure this day, there is something greater and beyond the pain.

There is something more than what my eyes see and ears hear. Something beyond what the body experiences. Perception is not always reality. All that we know and understand from having lived in this body for a few brief years and also as the whole of humanity passing through time and space, there is something more: eternity.

Questions of the Day

  • How seriously do you take the reality of eternity—that place beyond space and time, which awaits us after we pass from this life?
  • Have you tasted “something more”?
  • Does your flesh “dwell in hope”?

Song of the Day
Matt Maher, Alive Again

 

Raised to New Life

The Resurrection of the Lord

Quote of the Day

Faith in the Resurrection of Jesus says that there is a future for every human being: the cry for unending life which is a part of the person is indeed answered. — Pope Benedict XVI

Scriptures of the Day

Witnesses: Acts of the Apostles 10:34A, 37–43

Peter proceeded to speak and said:
“You know what has happened all over Judea,
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached,
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil,
for God was with him.
We are witnesses of all that he did
both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.
This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
not to all the people, but to us,
the witnesses chosen by God in advance,
who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
He commissioned us to preach to the people
and testify that he is the one appointed by God
as judge of the living and the dead.
To him all the prophets bear witness,
that everyone who believes in him
will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Raised With Christ: Colossians 3:1–4

Brothers and sisters:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.

Love Runs: John 20:1–9

On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.

Easter Hope

We, like Peter and the women, cannot discover life by being sad, bereft of hope. Let us not stay imprisoned within ourselves, but let us break open our sealed tombs to the Lord – each of us knows what they are – so that he may enter and grant us life. Let us give him the stones of our rancour and the boulders of our past, those heavy burdens of our weaknesses and falls. Christ wants to come and take us by the hand to bring us out of our anguish. This is the first stone to be moved aside this night: the lack of hope which imprisons us within ourselves. May the Lord free us from this trap, from being Christians without hope, who live as if the Lord were not risen, as if our problems were the centre of our lives.

We see and will continue to see problems both within and without. They will always be there. But tonight it is important to shed the light of the Risen Lord upon our problems, and in a certain sense, to “evangelize” them. To evangelize our problems. Let us not allow darkness and fear to distract us and control us; we must cry out to them: the Lord “is not here, but has risen!” (v. 6). He is our greatest joy; he is always at our side and will never let us down.

This is the foundation of our hope, which is not mere optimism, nor a psychological attitude or desire to be courageous. Christian hope is a gift that God gives us if we come out of ourselves and open our hearts to him. This hope does not disappoint us because the Holy Spirit has been poured into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5). The Paraclete does not make everything look appealing. He does not remove evil with a magic wand. But he pours into us the vitality of life, which is not the absence of problems, but the certainty of being loved and always forgiven by Christ, who for us has conquered sin, conquered death and conquered fear. Today is the celebration of our hope, the celebration of this truth: nothing and no one will ever be able to separate us from his love (cf. Rom 8:39).

The Lord is alive and wants to be sought among the living. After having found him, each person is sent out by him to announce the Easter message, to awaken and resurrect hope in hearts burdened by sadness, in those who struggle to find meaning in life. There is so necessary today. However, we must not proclaim ourselves. Rather, as joyful servants of hope, we must announce the Risen One by our lives and by our love; otherwise we will be only an international organization full of followers and good rules, yet incapable of offering the hope for which the world longs.

— Pope Francis, Easter Vigil 2016 homily

Questions of the Day

What was it about the burial cloths of Jesus left behind in the tomb that caused John to see and believe?

Is the Shroud of Turin the winding sheet of Jesus?

Is Jesus Christ Crucified and Resurrected at the center of your life?

The last enemy to be destroyed

First Question of the Day

Is God absent from your life?

Holy Saturday
He descended to the dead

We began the Easter Triduum (three days in our time that are one continuous day in the spiritual realm), the evening of Holy Thursday, by celebrating the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. At the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the Eucharist, so that he might be with us always in the most intimate way, so that our souls would be strengthened on their journey back to God. Another aspect of Holy Thursday is Jesus’ Agony in the Garden. This is where we bring our own agonies and learn to accept God’s will and plan for our lives, including our suffering, be it that which he has ordained or that which he has permitted.

Yesterday, the Church accompanied Our Lord Jesus Christ as he suffered his Passion and death. We walked the stations of the cross; we adored and reverenced the Holy Cross.

This morning the Church is silent. Holy Saturday is the darkest day of the year. The Church will not celebrate Holy Mass. We are unable to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. So what are we to do on this day? We wait with the Blessed Virgin Mary at the tomb of her son.

Yesterday the Blessed Virgin Mary stood at the foot of the cross. Her eyes did not turn away. She must not have wanted to blink. How great was Mary’s faith and hope that she stood and watched and suffered with Jesus, who was innocent yet condemned. Only unshakable confidence in the divinity of her Son could give her strength to stand and watch.

How is our faith? In what state is our spirit this morning? Will we allow and embrace the heaviness of the spiritual darkness and silence, or will we run from it? Are we eager to eat after fasting yesterday, or will we continue to fast for at least some of the day? Will we take time to contemplate what Jesus has done for us?

For contemplation on Holy Saturday, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has three meditations on the anguish of the absence of God.

Will we die to self and rise in Christ, becoming a new creation? Do we believe that Jesus will make us a new creation? Do we long to be free, at peace?

Scripture Snippets

Come, all you who pass by the way, look and see whether there is any suffering like my suffering. — Lamentations 1:12

The last enemy to be destroyed is death. — 1 Corinthians 15:26

We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. — Romans 6:9

He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, — 2 Timothy 1:10–11

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away. — Revelation 21:4

More Questions of the Day

Did Jesus really descend into hell?
answer

Do you lack faith? Do you desire an increase in faith, because it is not yet the size of a mustard seed?

 Do you desire the gift of contemplation—the ability to ponder with Mary the great mystery of her divine Son?

Do you desire to move from fear and despair to peace and joy?

What difficulty is God asking you to endure with a watchful, prayerful presence—your own waiting for the coming of the Lord?

ask. seek. knock. find.

His grace is infinite

Prayer of the Day
Psalm 43: Prayer to Worship God Anew

Grant me justice, O God;
defend me from a faithless people;
from the deceitful and unjust rescue me.
You, O God, are my strength.
Why then do you spurn me?
Why must I go about mourning,
with the enemy oppressing me?
Send your light and your fidelity,
that they may be my guide;
Let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place of your dwelling,
That I may come to the altar of God,
to God, my joy, my delight.
Then I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God.
Why are you downcast, my soul?
Why do you groan within me?
Wait for God, for I shall again praise him,
my savior and my God.

For this I was born

Good Friday
He died for me

Question of the Day

Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?

Scriptures of the Day

Old Testament Prophecy: Isaiah 52:13–53:12

See, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
Even as many were amazed at him
so marred was his look beyond human semblance
and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man
so shall he startle many nations,
because of him kings shall stand speechless;
for those who have not been told shall see,
those who have not heard shall ponder it.

Who would believe what we have heard?
To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up like a sapling before him,
like a shoot from the parched earth;
there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him,
nor appearance that would attract us to him.
He was spurned and avoided by people,
a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity,
one of those from whom people hide their faces,
spurned, and we held him in no esteem.

Yet it was our infirmities that he bore,
our sufferings that he endured,
while we thought of him as stricken,
as one smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our offenses,
crushed for our sins;
upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
by his stripes we were healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
each following his own way;
but the LORD laid upon him
the guilt of us all.

Though he was harshly treated, he submitted
and opened not his mouth;
like a lamb led to the slaughter
or a sheep before the shearers,
he was silent and opened not his mouth.
Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away,
and who would have thought any more of his destiny?
When he was cut off from the land of the living,
and smitten for the sin of his people,
a grave was assigned him among the wicked
and a burial place with evildoers,
though he had done no wrong
nor spoken any falsehood.
But the LORD was pleased
to crush him in infirmity.

If he gives his life as an offering for sin,
he shall see his descendants in a long life,
and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.

Because of his affliction
he shall see the light in fullness of days;
through his suffering, my servant shall justify many,
and their guilt he shall bear.
Therefore I will give him his portion among the great,
and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
because he surrendered himself to death
and was counted among the wicked;
and he shall take away the sins of many,
and win pardon for their offenses.

Psalm 22: Prayer of the Dying Jesus

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why so far from my call for help,
from my cries of anguish?
My God, I call by day, but you do not answer;
by night, but I have no relief.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the glory of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted and you rescued them.
To you they cried out and they escaped;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
But I am a worm, not a man,
scorned by men, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they curl their lips and jeer;
they shake their heads at me:
“He relied on the LORD—let him deliver him;
if he loves him, let him rescue him.”
For you drew me forth from the womb,
made me safe at my mother’s breasts.
Upon you I was thrust from the womb;
since my mother bore me you are my God.
Do not stay far from me,
for trouble is near,
and there is no one to help.
Many bulls* surround me;
fierce bulls of Bashan* encircle me.
They open their mouths against me,
lions that rend and roar.
Like water my life drains away;
all my bones are disjointed.
My heart has become like wax,
it melts away within me.
As dry as a potsherd is my throat;
my tongue cleaves to my palate;
you lay me in the dust of death.
Dogs surround me;
a pack of evildoers closes in on me.
They have pierced my hands and my feet
I can count all my bones.
They stare at me and gloat;
they divide my garments among them;
for my clothing they cast lots.
But you, LORD, do not stay far off;
my strength, come quickly to help me.
Deliver my soul from the sword,
my life from the grip of the dog.
Save me from the lion’s mouth,
my poor life from the horns of wild bulls.
Then I will proclaim your name to my brethren;
in the assembly I will praise you:
“You who fear the LORD, give praise!
All descendants of Jacob, give honor;
show reverence, all descendants of Israel!
For he has not spurned or disdained
the misery of this poor wretch,
Did not turn away* from me,
but heard me when I cried out.
I will offer praise in the great assembly;
my vows I will fulfill before those who fear him.
The poor will eat their fill;
those who seek the LORD will offer praise.
May your hearts enjoy life forever!”
All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the LORD;
All the families of nations
will bow low before him.
For kingship belongs to the LORD,
the ruler over the nations.
All who sleep in the earth
will bow low before God;
All who have gone down into the dust
will kneel in homage.
And I will live for the LORD;
my descendants will serve you.
The generation to come will be told of the Lord,
that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn
the deliverance you have brought.

Gospel: The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to John 18:1–19:42

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley
to where there was a garden,
into which he and his disciples entered.
Judas his betrayer also knew the place,
because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards
from the chief priests and the Pharisees
and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him,
went out and said to them, “Whom are you looking for?”
They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
He said to them, “I AM.”
Judas his betrayer was also with them.
When he said to them, “I AM, ”
they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them,
“Whom are you looking for?”
They said, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
Jesus answered,
“I told you that I AM.
So if you are looking for me, let these men go.”
This was to fulfill what he had said,
“I have not lost any of those you gave me.”
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it,
struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear.
The slave’s name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter,
“Put your sword into its scabbard.
Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?”

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus,
bound him, and brought him to Annas first.
He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year.
It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews
that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Now the other disciple was known to the high priest,
and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus.
But Peter stood at the gate outside.
So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest,
went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter,
“You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, “I am not.”
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire
that they had made, because it was cold,
and were warming themselves.
Peter was also standing there keeping warm.

The high priest questioned Jesus
about his disciples and about his doctrine.
Jesus answered him,
“I have spoken publicly to the world.
I have always taught in a synagogue
or in the temple area where all the Jews gather,
and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me?
Ask those who heard me what I said to them.
They know what I said.”
When he had said this,
one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said,
“Is this the way you answer the high priest?”
Jesus answered him,
“If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong;
but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm.
And they said to him,
“You are not one of his disciples, are you?”
He denied it and said,
“I am not.”
One of the slaves of the high priest,
a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
“Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
Again Peter denied it.
And immediately the cock crowed.

Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium.
It was morning.
And they themselves did not enter the praetorium,
in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said,
“What charge do you bring against this man?”
They answered and said to him,
“If he were not a criminal,
we would not have handed him over to you.”
At this, Pilate said to them,
“Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.”
The Jews answered him,
“We do not have the right to execute anyone, ”
in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled
that he said indicating the kind of death he would die.
So Pilate went back into the praetorium
and summoned Jesus and said to him,
“Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered,
“Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?”
Pilate answered,
“I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?”
Jesus answered,
“My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
So Pilate said to him,
“Then you are a king?”
Jesus answered,
“You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

When he had said this,
he again went out to the Jews and said to them,
“I find no guilt in him.
But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover.
Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
They cried out again,
“Not this one but Barabbas!”
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head,
and clothed him in a purple cloak,
and they came to him and said,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them,
“Look, I am bringing him out to you,
so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”
So Jesus came out,
wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak.
And he said to them, “Behold, the man!”
When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out,
“Crucify him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
“Take him yourselves and crucify him.
I find no guilt in him.”
The Jews answered,
“We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God.”
Now when Pilate heard this statement,
he became even more afraid,
and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus,
“Where are you from?”
Jesus did not answer him.
So Pilate said to him,
“Do you not speak to me?
Do you not know that I have power to release you
and I have power to crucify you?”
Jesus answered him,
“You would have no power over me
if it had not been given to you from above.
For this reason the one who handed me over to you
has the greater sin.”
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out,
“If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.
Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”

When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out
and seated him on the judge’s bench
in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.
And he said to the Jews,
“Behold, your king!”
They cried out,
“Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
“Shall I crucify your king?”
The chief priests answered,
“We have no king but Caesar.”
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself,
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull,
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others,
one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
It read,
“Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.”
Now many of the Jews read this inscription,
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city;
and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate,
“Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’
but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews’.”
Pilate answered,
“What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus,
they took his clothes and divided them into four shares,
a share for each soldier.
They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless,
woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another,
“Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be, ”
in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.

This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I thirst.”
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
“It is finished.”
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and that they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true;
he knows that he is speaking the truth,
so that you also may come to believe.
For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea,
secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews,
asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
And Pilate permitted it.
So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night,
also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes
weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus
and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices,
according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden,
and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day;
for the tomb was close by.

He must rise from the dead

Holy Thursday

Regardless of how well or poorly we kept our Lenten fasts, and what God may have revealed to us about our attachments to worldly things… let us begin anew tonight with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper to prepare for the mystery and joy of discovering with Mary Magdalene and the apostles the empty tomb and Jesus’ resurrection this Easter. During the next three days, enter the story of salvation as it reaches its peak, talk to and walk with Jesus as he accomplishes his mission, so that your joy may be complete.

Video of the Day: Easter Preparation

In the following video, Father Hezekias and Daniel Garland (Institute of Catholic Culture) help you prepare for Easter as they discuss the gospel passage (John 20:1–9) that will be read this Easter Sunday.

Question of the Day

  • Are you prepared for Easter?
  • How hungry are you for the good things the Lord has to offer?
  • What does Jesus’ resurrection mean for you?
  • What tomb do you want to walk out of?
  • What has the power to wake you before dawn?

Scriptures of the Evening

New Testament: 1 Corinthians 11:23–26

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Gospel: John 13:1–15

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

Come down, O Love Divine

Pentecost Prayer of the Day: Hymn by Bianco da Siena

Come down, O love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardor glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity
mine outward vesture be,
and lowliness become mine inner clothing;
true lowliness of heart,
which takes the humbler part,
and o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the power of human telling;
for none can guess its grace,
till Love create a place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.